Record victory for Modi’s ministers; Puri and Alphons go down

NEW DELHI: Riding the Modi wave, a record number of Union ministers marched to Lok Sabha, although former bureaucrats and senior cabinet ministers Hardeep Puri and KJ Alphons failed to make it.

Textile Minister Smriti Irani emerged as a giant-killer against Congress president Rahul Gandhi who conceded defeat from Amethi in one of the most keenly watched contests in the country.

The official announcement on most of the seats was awaited as matching of electronic voting machine (EVM) counts with voter verifiable audit trail(VVPAT) slips was in progress.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi retained Varanasi by over 4.79 lakh votes. He increased his victory margin as compared to 2014 by over one lakh votes, trouncing Samajwadi Party’s Shalini Yadav.

Giriraj Singh, who was up against Kanhaiya Kumar, former JNU president and CPI(ML) candidate, in Begusarai, was leading by 4.22 lakh votes. Radha Mohan Singh fielded from Purvi Champaran was ahead of his rival Aakash SIngh by a margin of nearly two lakh votes. In Arrah, RK Singh led against his nearest rival of CPI(ML) by a margin of over one lakh votes.

Ravi Shankar Prasad was leading against Congress’ Shatrughan Sinha on Patna Sahib seat by nearly 2.83 lakh votes.

Firebrand leader and Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey too sailed through against RJD’s Jagadanand Singh, leading by around 1.5 lakh votes. (AGENCIES)